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Making the choice between Ipod Shuffle, Ipod Nano or Ipod Video

While I must admit that beauty and design alone are good reasons to buy an Ipod (especially when it comes to the Nano). Let’s take alook at the more logical reasons for selecting an Ipod.

• iPod (video) The largest iPod is Apple’s “video” iPod, although Apple refers to it as just the iPod. The battery life for video viewing is good — up to 3-1/2 hours of use from one battery charge. The excellent resolution (320 x 240) and brightness of the screen of the iPod make viewing videos a delight.

The latest iPod comes in two sizes — 30 GB and 80 GB — and, like all iPods (including the Shuffle), it can be used for storing data as well as audio files, photos and videos. Storing your complete iTunes library on the iPod is very easy. Just connect your iPod to your computer, set iTunes to copy your complete library to the iPod and iTunes will do the rest. Every time you update your iTunes library and then connect your iPod, your music and videos will also be updated on your iPod.

One of the advantages of the large storage capacity of the iPod is the ability to add podcasts to your music library. You can find a large variety of free podcasts through the iTunes Store (the easiest way to add podcasts) and iTunes lets you easily update the podcasts automatically or manually. You can also visit podcast websites (for example, Podcast Net or Podcast Alley) for more podcasts, including video podcasts.

The iPod is, naturally, larger and heavier than a Nano, but it’s still small enough and lightweight enough to carry in your pocket or purse. If you need the extra storage space and/or want video capabilities, the iPod (video) might be the right iPod for you.

• iPod Shuffle The iPod Shuffle is the smallest and least expensive of the current iPod models. It’s also the newest model, officially shipping just days ago, although it was first announced and previewed by Steve Jobs in mid-September.

The Shuffle’s amazingly small size, virtual weightlessness and good battery life (Apple reports up to 12 hours of use from one battery charge) make it ideal for long trips or walks. The built-in clip makes wearing the Shuffle easy and secure and it eliminates the need for or cost of an extra case. Clip it anywhere and start walking or jogging.

The main disadvantage to a Shuffle is the limited storage space for music (1 GB). Some people complain that it lacks a screen, but I find a screen is unnecessary on a Shuffle since you can arrange music on it in the order you want to hear the songs using iTunes and changing the volume and moving back and forth through your songs requires no visual effort. For those who must have a screen on a lightweight MP3 player, Apple makes the iPod Nano.

• iPod Nano Like the Shuffle, the new Nano is almost weightless and, with the right case, it can be worn around your neck or on your arm. The battery life of a Nano for audio playback is extremely long (according to Apple, up to 24 hours of use from one battery charge), especially if you use the screen and backlight minimally.

The storage capacities for a Nano are 2 GB, 4 GB and 8 GB. If you have a small-to-medium size music collection, and you like the idea of carrying all your music with you in as small an MP3 player as possible, the Nano might be perfect for you. The addition of a screen lets you select just the songs you want to hear while still providing you with a lightweight option you can wear around your neck, carry in your pocket or wear on your arm. You can also store and view photos on a Nano but the storage space of the smaller Nano models might be limiting for a photo enthusiast.

The major disadvantage to the Nano is the cost of the 4 GB and 8 GB models. The 8 GB model is the same price as a 30 GB iPod (video) and the 4 GB model is only $50 less than the 30 GB iPod. Also, none of the models come with accessories except a cable to connect them to your computer or a charger, so you need to figure in the cost of at least a cover to protect the screen of a new Nano. But the Nano is small and lightweight and has a screen, and it may be the perfect iPod for users with smaller music collections.

As you can see, whether your needs are for a simple, no-frills, very small, easy-to-use music player (Shuffle), for a full-featured music and video player (iPod) or for something in-between (Nano), there is an iPod that is right for you. To help in making a choice, you can view a comparison chart of the three current iPod models at Apple’s website.


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